The July 9, 2012, Maitland City Council meeting was a positive turning point in the partnership of the recently formed Art & History Museums — Maitland (A&H) and the city. There had been a strained relationship these past seven months regarding the running and funding of the Maitland Art and History Center. The culmination of that unrest was an agenda item at the Council meeting to terminate A&H’s lease. More than 150 people came to the meeting to show their support for A&H. In addition, a number of art associations were present, including United Arts of Central Florida, the Arts & Cultural Alliance and the Fringe Festival, who also expressed their support of A&H.
Prior to this meeting, about a year after the merger of the Maitland Art Center and the Maitland Historical Society in May of 2010, a 51-year lease with the city was agreed to with a probationary one-year period. This probationary period allowed the city to cancel the lease at any time without cause. About six months after the lease was signed in December of 2011, concerns were raised by some members of Council regarding the performance of A&H. Subsequently with the city budget revenue projections coming forward and being of concern, these same council members recommended that the city take over the operation of the Art and History Center. By doing this, they felt that the city could run it more efficiency and save the city money.
After a few workshops between the city and A&H, A&H came up with the following proposal to address the Council concerns about the city’s budget:
• Reduce the city’s capital support to the Art and History Center 15 percent from $425,000 in 2012 to $361,250 in 2013.
• Greatly accelerate the goal of A&H becoming 100 percent financially independent from the city within five years. (Per the lease agreement A&H had 17 years to become 75 percent financially independent from the city or until the year 2030.) This will save the city millions of dollars in financial support in future years.
• Extend the probationary period of the lease one year from Sept. 30, to Sept. 30, 2013.
Even with this new proposal in place, some Council members felt that we could still do better by having the city take it over. However, the remaining Council members were very encouraged by this new proposal by A&H.
When the termination of the lease was included on the agenda for July 9, I was glad. This gave us the opportunity to put this issue to bed and get on with the positive development of A&H. In the past seven months, a lot of time has been spent at meetings and preparing and reviewing documents. This took a lot of time away from A&H being able to do what they needed to do to continue to move ahead and prosper. After a presentation from council members and A&H representatives and a long public period, the decision was unanimous not to terminate the lease but to extend the probationary period of the lease for one year from Sept. 30 to Sept. 30, 2013. Now we all need to work together to make A&H the great success that it is in the process of becoming. I am committed to do so.
City Council Agenda of July 23
City Council meets the second and fourth Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for July 23 in the Council Chambers, 1776 Independence Lane. Below is the agenda for that meeting.
• Ordinance - Petition No. 2012-01 (AZ) Lakes of Maitland Condominium Association Inc. - Zoning (Text) Amendment
• Change Order #CH2012-17 – New City Hall
• Alan Jay Automotive Network – Vehicle Purchase
• Contract - Industrial Network Solutions & Verizon Wireless
• Set Proposed Millage Rate (TRIM), Date, Time & Place for Public Hearing
• Appointments – Parks & Recreation Advisory Board (2)
• Ordinance – Police & Fire Pension Trust Fund Board
• Funding Agreement – Cultural Partners – Requested by Councilwoman Frosch
• Flex Bus
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